Core Resources

Resources, Facilities, and Equipment

The ORL is housed in the A. Alfred Taubman Biomedical Science Research Building on the campus of the UM Medical School. The facilities and resources in the ORL make it one of the leading centers for musculoskeletal research in the nation:

Mechanical Testing

  • Biomechanics and motion capture facilities

  • MTS Model 810 Servohydraulic Uniaxial Testing System

  • Instron 8511 Servohydraulic Uniaxial Testing System

  • MTS Bionix Servo-Hydraulic Testing System

  • Instron 5500R servo-electric materials testing system

  • Bose Electroforce 3200 Test Instrument

  • Bose Electroforce 3300 AT Test Instrument (available for in vivo loading in the Vivarium)

  • 3 Custom Fabricated Servo Hydraulic and Servo Mechanical Testing Frames

  • Specialized micro-material testing systems for static and fatigue evaluation

  • Hysitron TI 950 TriboIndenter fitted with bright light and fluorescence imaging capability

Design and Fabrication

  • Complete machine shop including two Bridgeport mills (one is CNC), two precision lathes, bandsaw, welding systems, and all other associate tooling, grinding, and machining supplies

  • Basic electronic instrumentation systems include amplifiers, oscilloscopes, power supplies, load cells, accelerometers, and necessary maintenance and fabrication facilities

Cell and Molecular Biology

  • Complete molecular biology support instrumentation for Northern, Western, Southern analysis, PCR, in situ hybridization and other support systems

  • Six CO2/water jacketed cell incubators

  • Cell culture and imaging facilities

  • Molecular biology equipment

  • Speedvac system

  • Fluorometer

  • Gel dryer with pump

  • Sorvall floor high speed centrifuge

  • Beckman ultracentrifuge

  • Five cell culture hoods

  • Three fluorescent-detection real time thermocyclers- a MJR Opticon Quantitative Thermocycler, Biorad iCycler, ABI 7600.

  • Multiple table top centrifuges for Eppendorf tubes

  • Two Sorvall Legend Table top centrifuge

  • Percellys Evolution system for DNA and RNA extraction

  • Three custom-built in vitro loading devices (Shear; Strain; Hydrostatic)

  • Leica inverted microscope


  • Advanced microscopy and in vivo fluorescent imaging systems

  • Biomechanics and motion capture facilities

  • Cell culture and imaging facilities

  • X-ray and fluoroscopy equipment

  • HP Engineering Workstations (192 GB RAM; 8 CPUs; Intel Xeon 3.2 GHz; NVIDIA Graphics cards; 2TB hard drive; Linux virtual machine; Windows 7 (64-bit)) with WACOM digitizing tablet monitors and high-end PC systems for analytical and computational modeling, image analysis for data sets derived from micro/nano computed tomography systems, MRI scans and confocal or other microscopy instruments. All have various commerical and custom modeling and imaging software packages installed.

  • Two x-ray systems; one portable unit, and one custom designed, precision, multiple focal spot size system and tabletop film development unit

  • Two Faxitron microradiography systems

  • Stratec XCT 2000 L pQCT system

  • MX20 digital faxitron

  • Microscopy including two microscopes for epifluorescent, transmitted, and reflected light imaging (Zeiss Axiovert/Apatome; Nikon Eclipse microscope; Nikon and Bioquant image analysis software), three dissecting microscopes and supporting optics and camera systems

  • Photometrics high performance Evolve EMCCD camera for near-infrared imaging of fluorescent contrast agents under low-light conditions

  • LI-COR Pearl Impulse near-infrared fluorescence system for in vivo and ex vivo imaging of fluorescent contrast agents

Masson Goldner trichrome staining,  performed on a MMA section of distal metaphysis of a 6 week-old mouse femur
Masson Goldner trichrome staining, performed on a MMA section of distal metaphysis of a 6 week-old mouse femur

NanoCT and MicroCT

Nano-CT: phoenix|x-ray nanotom-m, GE Sensing & Inspection Technologies, GmbH; Wunstorf, Germany. High resolution (0.5 micron voxel size) nano-computed tomography system (180 kV/15W; nanofocus X-ray tube; large object imaging (250mm height x 250mm diameter); tungsten and molybdenum targets for tailoring imaging to metals and biologicals; aluminum and copper filters to minimize beam hardening.

The SkyScan 1176 is a high performance in vivo micro-CT scanner for preclinical research. X-ray source is a sealed micro-focus X-ray tube 20-90kV, 25W. Fully distortion corrected 11Mp X-ray camera; 4000x2672pixels, 12bit, fiber-optically coupled to scintillator. Scanning volume up to 68mm diameter, 20mm single scan length, 200mm scannable length. Image field width up to 68 mm allows full body mouse and rat scanning and distal limb scanning for big animals, such as rabbits, at pixel sizes of 9, 18 and 35µm. Integrated physiological monitoring (breathing, movement detection, ECG), with 4D time-resolved microtomography


  • Microtomes include a Reichert-Jung Polycut microtome for decalcified or undecalcified saples, two Reichert-Jung rotary microtomes for decalcified specimens

  • Two Exact diamond band saws

  • Cryostats for frozen sections with special features for bone sections

  • Three slow speed diamond saws

  • One high speed grinding cutoff wheel

  • Two precision grinding and polishing machines (Buehler Automet 300)

  • Complete embedding and preparation equipment and supplies for paraffin, methacrylate, epoxy, and other resins for embedding of biologic specimens

  • Two automated tissue processor for plastic and paraffin embedding preparation (Leica ASP 300S)